A (New) Man’s world Kathryn Bigelow reconstructs screen masculinity
Thomas Brint • I
n the 1980s, the epitome of masculinity was a muscular and macho version of the ancient Greek Adonis, at least as far as Hollywood was concerned. Seemingly fearless and with the power to kill anyone or anything that stood in their way, actors like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger wowed audiences with their display of masculinity on screen. However, in the 1990s, a new role model for men appeared. It was a model that contrasted the figure that was prominent in the 1980s: a sensitive, caring, good-looking, slim and yet,
importantly, still muscular. This type of man could fight his way out of any situation while having the emotional depth demanded in order to really understand a woman’s needs. Both of these types of masculinity oozed power and control. Director Kathryn Bigelow, nonetheless, shaped a new type of cinematic role model for men through her films. In The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow (2003), Deborah Jermyn and Sean Redmond state that 1991 was a pivotal year for screening the male
Diegesis: CUT TO [conflict]
Diegesis CUT TO [conflict] issue 9 2015. New voices in screen criticism.